Gentleman thief races with the Fiat Yamaha Team

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To mark the Japanese Grand Prix in the MotoGP Class, due to be raced on Sunday 28 September 2008 over the Motegi circuit, the Yamaha YZR–M1 number 48 in the Fiat Yamaha Team, will race in very original livery.

The farings of the Yamaha ridden by the Spanish driver Jorge Lorenzo will sport effigies of Lupin III, the famous “gentleman thief” dreamed up at the beginning of the 20th century by the French novelist Maurice Leblanc and then made famous by the Manga cartoons of the Japanese Kazuhiko Kato, aka Monkey Punch, and the numerous animated TV series that they inspired.

The image of Lupin III, shown on the livery of the Fiat Yamaha with his typical gently mocking expression has been adapted by the Fiat Automobiles Style Centre, and will also feature on a limited series of the Fiat 500 due to make its debut during the second half of 2009.

This international operation is supported by an innovative marketing plan, of which this special livery represents the first teaser operation that is mainly based on the principles of social marketing and Web 2.0.

To confirm the deep-seated bond between Fiat and the Japanese culture – of which Lupin III is one of the symbols, at the beginning of 2008, the new Fiat 500 has been signed up for an animated film “Lupin the IIIrd. Green vs. Red”, a work that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the famous “gentleman thief” designed by Monkey Punch. Lest we forget, this eclectic character was often to be seen aboard a 500 during his swashbuckling adventures.

The original venture promoted by the Fiat Yamaha Team is an example of Fiat Automobiles wish to reach out to motorbike racing fans through projects linked to the world of creativity and design so that it can communicate above all with younger members of its audience who by definition follow MotoGp with rapt attention.

The special Lupin III livery is actually the second created by Fiat – the first was to celebrate the Italian national football squad at the beginning of the European football championship – and will be followed by a third personalisation, to be created for the Valencia GP.